Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Burn Bright ~ Bethany Frenette (earc) review [@DisneyHyperion @bethanyfrenette]

Burn Bright (Dark Star #2)
Disney Hyperion
February 25, 2014
352 pages
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**Summary and review contain spoilers for Dark Star (Dark Star #1)**

Audrey Whitticomb saved her entire city.

Well, kind of. The superhero Morning Star (who just happens to be Audrey's mom) might have played a small part, and her sidekick, Leon—Audrey's sort-of boyfriend, who is gorgeous... and frustrating—maybe helped, too.

But after two peaceful months, there is a vicious new threat in Minneapolis. Her name is Susannah, and she's a Harrower, a demon hell-bent on destroying people like Morning Star, Leon, and Audrey—the Kin. Like others before her, she seeks the Remnant, a Kin girl who has the power to unleash the inhabitants of the Beneath. But to what end?

Audrey already has a ton on her plate: dealing with her best friend Tink's boy drama, helping her other best friend Gideon figure out his nightmares, and exploring the highs and lows of "dating" Leon. But when she develops a powerful new ability, Audrey seizes on the chance to fight, despite her mother's protests and Leon's pleas.

As Audrey gets closer to figuring out Susannah's motives and tracking down the Remnant, she'll uncover more than she bargained for. The terrible truth is staring Audrey in the face. But knowing the truth and accepting it are very different things.

Burn Bright continues Dark Star very nicely. It does not start immediately after the first book, instead giving the characters two months of calm. This permits them time to deal with everything that transpired in Dark Star, to heal and cope.

Audrey knows, now, much more about who she is, who her mother is, and why Leon showed up all those years ago. She is no longer simply the daughter of secret superhero Morning Star, she is Kin. It explains her Knowing - an ability to know things about people, to even see the future - but also explains the demons and the threat they pose that are now a part of Audrey's life.

Iris and Tigue have been defeated, ending their search for the Remnant, but they're not the only ones looking. Once again that quest will pose a threat to Audrey and the other Kin.

In Burn Bright I really enjoyed that things from the first novel had an impact. Besides Audrey now knowing about the Kin and demons, an entire other part of the world, Dark Star also altered things for the other characters. Tink is Kin - but still doesn't want to be - and Gideon was kidnapped by Iris. They are no longer just three teenagers who like to go out and dance. They are aware of the danger.

Several things that seemed small in Dark Star became a part of something much bigger in Burn Bright. It definitely added a sense of continuity to the book and made the two stories feel even more cohesive. It's fantastic when a series feels thought out a whole. Bits that previously seemed inconsequential became something more and I loved the development.

It is still much more of an action, plot book than a character book. The characters and their relationships play a very large role in how the action unfolds, but were not the strongest part. It is easier to get into Burn Bright than it was Dark Star and you do have a better sense of the characters. That may be due to Audrey having a better sense of who she is, both as a girl and part of the Kin.

With Gideon and Tink now knowing about things, as well, and the new relationship between Leon and Audrey, they are all, mostly, on a level playing field. Everyone is involved, more apart of everything that happens. As we see the characters more there's still not a great feeling of connection with them but readers do get a better sense of each of them.

Burn Bright's plot developed very well, pulling in elements of the story - and the characters - of Dark Star and expanding on both. It all comes together in a really nice way for a story that is about so much more than a teenage girl with a superhero mother. Fire Fall, the conclusion to the trilogy, is currently due in September and after all of the revelations in Burn Bright I'm eager to see what happens.

Rating: 7/10

thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my copy to review

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